Driving on Highway 30 east out of South Dakota, you come to a place where the road passes through a section of land that drops down into a valley surrounded by prairie covered hills as far as you can see. There are cows grazing on the steep hillsides, and a creek meanders by at the low point, surrounded by scrubby trees and taller grass. The air seems to stand still here, even when the wind is blowing, and you know it is because this is South Dakota, and the wind is always blowing here. This is the land of the giants: Wind turbines stand silent, stretching their enormity up through the fog of the morning for miles in either direction. Their blades churn in slow motion as the inhabitants of the valley and hills and creek keep time by the way the grass sways and the sun burns off the mist at it reaches its peak for the day. The giants are present, but at the same time absent in root and belonging though they are hard to ignore, but at some level you do. So do the cows- but they don’t need the electricity the massive blades generate. Neither do the hills, or the stream. In your car, you are there but for a moment, and then you are gone, back to the journey east, or west, and you forget about the giants when you flip a light switch, or turn on your AC, or open the refrigerator. But they are still there, silently churning, as the cows graze and the hills and stream stay locked in another time, hanging on to their roots and hoping.
The cheapest [and cleanest] energy is the energy you don’t use in the first place.
How can you use less energy-renewable or not- to power your life?